Sunday, September 30, 2012

Weekend Wanderings

It was a busy weekend starting with a tour of the National Mosque after work on Thursday evening.

The Imam Sheikh Mohammed Bin Abdul Wahhab Mosque.
On another excursion sponsored by Qatar Foundation (QF), the three of us joined a large group going to the Imam Sheikh Mohammed Bin Abdul Wahhab Mosque in Doha. Many of my colleagues went, accompanied by a number of other QF employees in three large Karwa tour buses that were waiting for us outside the LAS building at the end of the day on Thursday.

It was the first time many of us had been in a mosque here in Qatar. Angela and I had only been inside a mosque one other time when we were traveling in China, a mosque in Xian, which was purportedly the oldest one in China.

After an explanation of how the mosque functions, what happens after the call to prayer, and general information about Islam, our hosts, Adam and Dominique, answered the group's questions. We stayed inside the mosque for more than two hours and, once discussion had finished, watched the evening prayer before boarding the tour buses and returning to the LAS building. Little did we know that our fun was just beginning.

Friday morning, we had as many as four maintenance men at one time in the bathroom in the master bedroom, because we had a problem with the water heater. Jokes about how many so-and-sos do you need to change a lightbulb came to mind. They had started fixing it on Wednesday afternoon, but couldn't finish and planned to return on Thursday morning. Unfortunately, both Angela and I had to work on Thursday and we didn't return until late, so they planned on Friday morning.

While we were eating lunch on Friday with Ruth and Samuel, it rained briefly.

On Friday evening, we left Vito at home with Samarrah, his sitter, and went to the Museum of Islamic Art (MIA) to watch 13 Assassins, the final Japanese film showing as part of a year-long celebration of forty years of Japanese and Qatari relations. I thought it was great, but it is not really a family film.

Arthur and Vito outside the Education City Student Center.
Lastly, on Saturday, after making pancakes with "the flipper," the maintenance men arrived and finally finished repairing our water heater. They were done by lunch time.

After eating, we drove across the city and picked up Vito's friend Arthur, and they spent the afternoon together. We played a game and watched a movie before heading for the arcade at the Education City Student Center. After burning through some tokens and taking Arthur back home, we returned to our home to get ready to see the Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra at Katara Cultural Village. Aside from pieces by Beethoven and Dvořák, the concert featured the music of Khachatur Avetisyan highlighting and instrument called a kanun, which, according to the program, is a kind of Middle Eastern lap harp. Neither Angela nor myself had ever heard it before.

Now, I'm staying up too late to watch football and finish this blogpost, but I want to post something in September before it ends.